This weeks Parasha is Parashat Miketz and it always happens that this weeks Parasha falls out some time during Chanukah and the question is why and what is the connection? We will attempt to answer this question by looking at a few parts of the Parasha and relating it to the concepts of Chanukah.
Firstly, this Parsha makes mention of Yosef’s son מנשה, who’s doubly connected to Chanukah, in the context of being deeply connected to the 3rd Beis HaMikdash. Firstly, his name has the same letters as נשמה soul, which hints to the Third Temple which will be like the soul of all the Temples. Furthermore, the Sages teach that dedication of the Third Temple will be in the month of Cheshvan, which parallels the tribe of Menasheh (when the 12 months are paralleled to the 12 tribes in accordance with the order that the tribe were encamped in the desert, as related in BaMidbar, Chapter 2). As for why the 3rd Beis HaMikdash is in turn connected to Chanukah, this is because Chanukah means Inauguration/kick-off and the original events that led to this festival involved Divine Revelations on a smaller scale of that which will be revealed on a far grander scale in the Third Temple; thus Chanukah was actually the Chanukah/inauguration/kick-off of the Third Temple.
Secondly, in this Parasha, Yosef – the Torah scholar – marries Osnat, whose Hebrew name has the same numerical value as “chochmah” seven times. That is אסנת=511 and חכמה=73 73×7=511. Osnat thus hints to the seven wisdoms of the world, and Yosef’s marrying her contains the implication that he mastered all of these wisdoms, as well as possessing the wisdom of the world – the Torah, which reigns supreme above the other seven. The 8 supremacy of Torah over secular wisdom as espoused by Greece was of course a key theme of the Chanukah story.
Thirdly, on Chanukah we recite Hallel and one of the reasons why is in order to recite the verse from Tehillim 118:27 which states Keil Havayah –” He illuminated us.” These two names are the Divine names of Chesed (Loving-kindness) and Rachamim (Mercy) respectively, and these were certainly the two Divine attributes that were active when Hashem gave us the gift of the Chanukah miracles – hence that we want to mention this verse on Chanukah. The Bnei Yissaschar adds that the Chanukah miracle is itself hinted to in the fourth word of this verse – לנו, for this word can be read as ו”לנ – i.e. “for the 56.” This hints to the 7 candles of the menorah in the Beis HaMikdash which were miraculously lit for 8 days (7×8=56). Thus these four words together are saying that: through the illumination of the Divine names of Kel and Yud Kay Vav Kay there was the miracle with the 7×8=56 candles (i.e., the equivalent of 56 candles) these ideas are further hinted to in that which Chanukah falls out on Parashat Miketz. Inasmuch as this Parasha has 146 possukim, and this is the combined numerical value of Yud Kay Vav Kay (26), Kel (31) and Chanukah (89), which hints to the fact that it was these two Divine names/attributes that engendered the Chanukah miracle. One can see from just these three examples that both Parashat Miketz and Chanukah are undoubtedly intertwined.
Good Shabbos to all.
Student studying in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh